Long before there was the Food Network or The Cooking Channel there was a little show called Martha Stewart Living. There was nothing else like it at the time and the only broadcast that really showcased recipes and home decorating. It began in 1993 and was very popular moving into the late 90s and early ‘00s and, of course, predated the Internet before it exploded and was readily accessible to everyone. And, no dial-up service does not count! Martha had really cornered the market at that time and it was a big deal if she endorsed or promoted a chef or product. I was busy working full time and raising two toddlers with barely a moment to breath, but I never missed Martha’s weekly show. I didn’t have the time, equipment, culinary skill or money to make her recipes but tried to learn as much as possible. One day she introduced a woman who ran a specialty food store in East Hampton called The Barefoot Contessa. Ina Garten came on the show and I don’t remember exactly what she made for Martha, but she had my attention. Her show began in 2002 on the Food Network and I have been making her recipes every since.
Back in the early ‘00s the Food Network had shows that were hosted by accrediated chefs to teach skills and techniques that were helpful for home cooks and I tried to absorb all that great information. Now, they give cooking shows to celebrities who have no actual culinary credentials. It’s like when MTV used to play music vidoes instead of the train wreck, “reality” TV programming you find there today. But, I digress!
One of my favorite Ina recipes is her Maple Oatmeal Scones. I have made them so many times over the years that I (almost) don’t need the recipe anymore. I make them for Christmas gifts for our good friends that we see each year over the holiday time frame. There are three of us couples and we take turns hosting a dinner. I hosted last year so tonight we head over to one of their homes. We have a real gift for the other two couples but, if I don’t bring a baked good, the gift will be incomplete.
This recipe comes together quickly. Combine the dry ingredients, add the butter and cut into the dry until the size of peas. I go with very large peas!
Combine the buttermilk, maple syrup and four eggs and mix well
add this mix to the dry and expect an extremely sticky batter!
I use a lot of flour and pat into a big circle, about ¾ inch thick. You will not be able to knead this dough, its way too sticky. Have lots of flour on hand!
I used a 2 ½ inch round cutter and had a yield of 20 big scones. Be careful to not twist your cutter when stamping out the scones, or you will seal all those great layers that you worked so hard to create!
I made the glaze with the powdered sugar, vanilla and maple syrup but I like a nice, thick glaze, really more like icing, so I used less syrup and just eyeballed the amount until I hit the consistency I wanted.
Thank you, Ina!
Another delicious recipe I found was Cinnamon Star Bread. I was not going to review this originally so there are no production photos. My family really flipped over this bread so I felt it should be included. I know that there are a lot of star bread recipes out there and I have made savory ones myself but this dough was amazing to work with! It came together quickly and, even though it was cold in my home, the dough rose well with a little extra time. It rolled out nicely after resting and it will be my new go to star bread formula from now on.
It baked up nice and golden and then I added lots of powdered sugar.
I highly recommend both these recipes and hope you enjoy them!